Local News

Man pleads guilty to killing 28-year-old with SUV

Posted May 17, 2011 8:59 a.m. EDT

— A Raeford man charged with first-degree murder for hitting another man with his SUV in 2008 pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday, just before his trial began.

Stanton Mark Moretti Jr., 45, will be sentenced Friday on his second-degree murder plea.

Moretti told police he was chasing the man who tried to rob his wife. He said his wife, Anna, was standing outside a pizzeria on Yadkin Road in Fayetteville when a man approached her and threatened her with a knife.

Anna Moretti yelled for her husband, who said he responded by firing two warning shots, then chasing the alleged attacker in his GMC Yukon.

Moretti hit Aaron Lazarus McLeod, 28, three times as McLeod ran down Horseshoe Road.

In a pre-trial interview, Moretti said he heard loud noises that he thought were gunshots and ducked, hitting McLeod.